Whether through photographers’ lens or painters’ palettes, town and country scenes of Barrington have circled the globe. For over half a century, it was local camera aficionados who planted their tripods to capture for posterity the scenes of a growing community to be printed as postcards and mailed far and wide. It was an early way of informally advertising Barrington.
By 1980, newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and a flourishing chamber of commerce were promoting the desirability of living and working in Barrington. And residents too, looked for ways of sharing community pride. The Barrington Area Historical Society was at the forefront of considering ideas, which resulted in a decade-long partnership of art and history.
The decision to produce an original, seasonal card from the work of a local artist was enthusiastically adopted by volunteers Connie Blomquist and Avalee Mowry, and they recruited Jacque and Al Mudd, retired owners of custom printing company The Grey Dove, who assisted them in assuring a quality product.
Their first artist in 1980 was Carolyn Guerra, who set up her easel outside the historic H.C.P. Sandman farmhouse on North Avenue. The cards were an instant success, with joyful words of greeting and a reverse that carried historical notes relevant to their subject.
For the next decade, an annual seasonal card sent images of Barrington far and wide. Besides Guerra, participating artists included Cheryl Smetana, Pat Mead, Dorothy Barnes, Michael Barkman, AWS., Stan Young, and David Kurka. Sold in the Historical Society’s Gift Shop, and the Gift Shop in the Ice House Mall, the cards raised funds for Historical Society programs. The artists gave their original paintings to be sold at the Society’s fundraising events. Are any of those paintings still hanging in Barrington homes?
Or are any cards still saved along with memorabilia in shoe boxes? It was a long time ago, but perhaps after reading this, someone will remember them and be in touch with us at Quintessential Barrington. Greetings of the Season!
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Barbara L. Benson grew up in Kent, England, and later moved to New York. She settled in Barrington and has walked with our history ever since she first arrived here in 1980.
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